It’s finally happening everyone! After 8 long years of waiting, Animal Crossing is finally, finally getting a new console release! What’s more, it’s been five years since its last entry on the 3DS! No matter how you slice it, it’s been a long time since we’ve had the chance to live the chill kind of life that can only be found in an Animal Crossing game, and the next entry in the series is finally coming out next year for the Switch!
Considering the kind of game it is, it feels kind of funny to be getting all excited for Animal Crossing. It’s almost not even a game if you think about it. There’s no real goal except what you make for yourself, and the gameplay consists largely of picking up objects, placing and arranging them. It should be the most boring game in the world, but somehow it isn’t. Boredom never seems to factor into the experience at all, actually. There are any number of explanations for why this could be, but I think it’s 100 percent due to Animal Crossing’s overflowing charm and atmosphere.
There are enjoyable things to do in Animal Crossing to be sure. One could spend a good couple hours each day catching fish, digging up fossils, shopping at Tom Nook’s and decorating your house. However, that by itself isn’t enough to explain the game’s appeal. No, Animal Crossing is as good as it is because of how charming and relaxed it is. Everything about this game is designed to help the player feel at ease and forget any sense of urgency they might have.
The world is rendered in a cartoony art style defined by soft colors and low contrast. It’s characters are all cute animals with big eyes and comedic features. It’s music is all easy-listening that adjusts itself according to the weather, date and season in a way that lulls the player into a warm and fuzzy stupor. Put simply, Animal Crossing is the epitome of the relaxation game. It not only employs relaxing elements, but it also presents its players with the kind of carefree world we all wish we could live in from time to time.
This is why a new console version of the game is so exciting to me, I think. Animal Crossing: Wild World and Animal Crossing: New Leaf were fun, but playing them on such small device made it difficult to enjoy them to the fullest. With a proper console though, one can fully immerse themselves into the silly little life their character is living on screen. You can really allow the experience to wash over you, even if it’s only for a few minutes, and that’s something worth getting psyched for in my book.
I may have exaggerated a bit here, but there’s something about Animal Crossing that makes it easy to sit back and chill. I love it for that, but what about you? If you’re also an Animal Crossing fan, what is it that you love about it?